Belmont selectmen want second opinion on Engine 2 before refurbishment

BELMONT — Selectmen have asked Fire Chief Dave Parenti to get a second opinion about the condition of a fire engine before any decisions are made to refurbish it.

Parenti told selectmen during his budget presentation last month that he may ask for about $200,000 to refurbish Engine 2, but wanted to make sure that it would last eight to 10 years before the town spent the money.

Saying body rust was one of the key problems, he suggested taking it to Repair Service of New England — or RSNE — of Gilford to make sure the frame rails were not rusted and selectmen agreed.

On Nov. 4, selectmen were forwarded a letter sent by RSNE owner Rick Gagnon which concluded, "In our opinion, it isn't likely this unit will be reliable for the next 10 years."

RSNE expressed concerns about the integrity of the frame air system, the brakes, the air lines, the radiator, the water piping and the injectors. They tested the transmission and engine oil but said the results weren't back yet.

What was not in the report, said Selectman Jon Pike, was any mention of the condition of the frame rails.

"I don't like this letter," Pike said.

His interpretation of the RSNE letter was that Parenti, who was not at Monday's meeting, was against refurbishing the truck.

Pike also said that for years the Fire Department used Winnipesaukee Truck Repairs and said he was under the impression the selectmen were going to get an evaluation of the frame rails from RSNE.

"I think we need two opinions," Pike said.

Selectman Ron Cormier and Selectman Ruth Mooney agreed.